A veteran British envoy on diplomacy, sex and espionage

Christopher Meyer

Christopher Meyer

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
British newspaper The Daily Mail has published a well-written and entertaining essay by a longtime UK government envoy, explaining the close links between diplomacy, sex and espionage. Sir Christopher Meyer, a career diplomat with the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, served in several countries during his career, including the Soviet Union and Spain, as well as in Germany and the United States, where he was ambassador from 1997 to 2003. He argues in his article that “sex and diplomacy have long been bedfellows”, and recounts some of his personal experiences in the former USSR, where he began his 35-year diplomatic career in 1968, as “an innocent, unmarried 24-year- old”. He arrived in Moscow along with Sir Duncan Wilson, Britain’s ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1968 to 1971. Sir Christopher is bold enough to recount that Sir Duncan’s predecessor, Sir Geoffrey Harrison (ambassador from 1965 to 1968), “had to leave [Moscow] in a hurry, having fallen for the charms of his Russian maid –trained and targeted, of course, by the KGB”. In his briefing, prior to leaving London for Moscow, Meyer says he was told to “keep it female, keep it white, keep it single and keep it in NATO”. He also recounts a particularly hilarious episode where the KGB initially believed he was gay, because Russian counterintelligence agents had eavesdropped on him in his Moscow flat “rehearsing a sketch for the embassy’s Christmas panto[mime], which had men in tights doing a camp ballet routine”. One wonders whether Sir Christopher should be brought back from retirement to tutor young British politicians and diplomats, who seem to be falling for espionage honey traps repeatedly in recent times.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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